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Casey Affleck - "Out of the Furnace"
Pros: Affleck was nominated hear six years ago for a brilliant performance in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward of Robert Ford." Here he offers up something quite different, though still reflective of a deeper simmer. And it's the kind of movie where the organic chemistry between two actors -- in this case, Affleck and Christian Bale -- elevates both performances.
Cons: The movie will finally arrive at AFI Fest just before it is released into an unforgiving early December marketplace. It's not too late to join the conversation, but for smaller films, it can be difficult to get up to speed when all the major Oscar contenders are hitting screens left and right.